Healing Hearts

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Indigo (formerly Blue Boy) came to HHDR from right here in CNY. His eventual Mom was an HHDR volunteer. She knew right away that this tiny puppy was special. Every time he looked at her, she felt him communicating, “you are my new Mommy.” But she resisted his adorable puppy eyes because the family’s dog, HHDR alum Vern, was very sick at the time and they were focused on his final days. Sadly, Vern passed away, only three weeks after suddenly developing an illness, and the family was devastated.

Mom returned to HHDR for a volunteer shift, and much to her surprise, Indigo had not yet been adopted. And he still seemed to be communicating to her with his sweet eyes. Mom felt it was divine intervention and brought him home that same day! In May 2016, Indigo joined his forever family, including Mom, Dad, and dog sister Shanti. The family believes that Indigo picked them – he was waiting to heal their hearts after the loss of their beloved Vern. He found them at the perfect time, just when they needed him.

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We are happy to share a pupdate about this sweet boy. Indigo loves to play! He would chase balls and toys all day if you let him. He's an exceptional Frisbee dog. Indigo loves playing in the water. He often sits in the family’s pond and enjoys going to beaches. He could run and swim all day – especially if you throw a ball in the water for him.

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Indigo and his dog sister Shanti (formerly Jamey, another HHDR alum) have a blast together. They are pretty competitive about toys. Shanti is the boss and keeps the best toys with her. Indigo will go to the door and bark like something is there. When Shanti runs to the door to see what's going on, Indigo runs back and grabs the toy that Shanti had been guarding. She falls for it every time!

Indigo’s family says he is the most content, happiest dog they have ever had. He just wants to play and snuggle! He brings so much happiness with his amazing smile. Indigo’s story is a prime example of “who rescued who?”

We appreciate your support in helping dogs like Indigo find a “new leash on life!”

River's Adventures in Ithaca

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River made his way to HHDR from Alabama in August 2018 via our rescue partner Save A Stray. He arrived at the age of 19 weeks and was adopted after spending just one night with us. He was so happy to go home with his new Mom and Dad!

When he was first adopted, River was quite timid around strangers (especially men), but he has grown more comfortable and secure with time. He now lets people pet him and give him treats upon a first meeting. River has made countless friends around his parents’ apartment complex, where he is lovingly known as Scooby.

River leads an active, adventurous life in Ithaca. His favorite activities are hiking, trail running, and swimming in any water deep enough for him to dive in. He is always very busy on walks, toting along a stick or chasing neighborhood squirrels. River periodically travels with his Mom and Dad to visit his grandparents, where he enjoys walking along the beach and snuggling with their dog.

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River’s parents ensure he gets all the mental and physical exercise that a healthy growing puppy needs. He has learned all of the basic commands. River goes to doggy day care once a week to play and puppy class every weekend for socialization. He relaxes by letting loose at the dog park, running around with his dog friends.

River’s parents describe him as 38 pounds of pure love – bringing nothing but joy, excitement, and adventure to their lives. He is blessed to have such a loving forever family that gives him a truly rich life.

We appreciate your support in helping dogs like River find a “new leash on life!”

The Resilient Mr. Otis

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Like so many rescue stories, Otis is one of remarkable recovery and amazing human intervention. And like so many who are adopted out through Helping Hounds, Otis began his life in Texas. We believe he was cared for and that during the very early months of his life, his physical needs were met. Whether he was loved and treated like a family member is unknown.

When he was four months old, Otis was kicked by a horse and left seriously injured. He hobbled and favored his right hind leg for three days before he was seen by a veterinarian. Upon examination, it was concluded that Otis’s leg was shattered. His then humans asked that he be “put down”. The optimistic and caring vet gained their permission and he was surrendered to her care. She amputated his injured leg and neutered him.

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Otis began his road to rescue at the veterinarian’s home where she and her family nursed and cared for him as he continued his puppy-hood and learned to adjust to his new physical conditions. After several weeks, Otis was transferred to a loving foster home and scheduled to make his journey North to Helping Hounds.

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He was adopted into a home with two parents, two human brothers, an older canine sister and a feline brother. He has no idea that something is missing on his body. He runs and plays and loves his life. Without the wonderful intervention of some very kind humans, the world would not know the enduring spirit and love of this beautiful boy.

We appreciate your support in helping dogs like Otis find a “new leash on life.”

From Lonely Life Outside to Love and Adventures with Family

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Cliff (formerly Monkey) made his way to HHDR from Texas in the Fall of 2016 via our rescue partner Underdog Express. Before he was rescued, Cliff had a difficult life. He had lived outside for years, so he didn’t really know how to behave in a house. He was scared of the dark, storms, and cars, and he didn’t even know what to make of toys.

While staying with his foster family in Texas, he learned to do his business outside and quickly grew to love toys. At HHDR, he had a blast playing with all the other dogs. After a couple months at HHDR, Cliff wrote a letter to Santa expressing his dream of finding a forever home. Just a few weeks later in January 2017, Cliff was adopted by his forever family.

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He was thrilled to join his new parents and dog brother Porter (another HHDR alum) for life on a farm! We are happy to share a pupdate about this handsome boy. His parents brag that he is extremely sweet and smart! Cliff and his brother are best buddies – they get into all sorts of adventure together, including hiking and walks in the snow. Cliff loves to explore the farm, go to the park, climb on things, and snuggle. He is enjoying a fun, active life with his family. Cliff has gone hiking in The Adirondacks and camping in Canada. His parents may also try him in agility lessons.

We appreciate your support in helping dogs like Cliff find a “new leash on life!”

The Light of Luna

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Luna made her way to HHDR from Alabama in October 2015, via our rescue partner Save a Stray. She had spent the first year of her life with a family who sadly had to give her up, and after a few weeks with a foster family, she made the journey to CNY.

There was a lot of interest in this adorable miniature Schnauzer, so she spent just one night at HHDR before being adopted by her forever family, consisting of Mom, Dad, and a human sister. We are happy to share a pupdate about this sweet girl.

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Luna is dearly loved and is truly a family dog. She makes sure to spend quality one-on-one time with each member of her family every day. She plays with her Dad, goes for walks with her Mom, and cuddles with her girl. But family time all together is her favorite. Luna is a favorite around her neighborhood because she is so friendly to all dogs and people, especially children. Every morning she goes for a walk with another HHDR alum who lives next door. Despite her small stature, Luna plays with all the big dogs. She likes to go hiking or to the beach with her family. At home, she loves to chase her favorite toys: moose, rabbit, and hedgehog. She enjoys wrestling – her signature move is the headfirst somersault.

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Luna has earned the alias “Hairy Houdini” due to her incredible ability to escape from any enclosure. She never runs away from home, she just wants to be able to go wherever she pleases whenever she pleases. Luna stays very busy providing security for her family. She patrols her fenced in yard frequently to ensure that no squirrels, bunnies, chipmunks, or birds enter her territory. She has her own doggie door so she can stay on top of this full-time job. Once she is satisfied with yard security, she will relax by sunning in the yard or romping in the snow, depending on the time of year. We appreciate your support in helping dogs like Luna find a “new leash on life!

From One of the Pack to Pampered Princess

Sally made her way to HHDR from Texas in June 2015. For the first 9 months of her life, she lived with her mother and 8 brothers and sisters. But the puppies developed a pack mentality and had to be surrendered to Emily’s Legacy Rescue. After a few weeks with an amazing foster family, Sally made the trip to Central New York to start over. She was adopted in July 2015 and would be her new Mom and Dad’s only “child.”

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It soon became apparent that Sally had behavioral issues. Although she was always as sweet as could be with her parents, she was unfriendly to other humans and had outbursts when she encountered dogs on walks. Sally’s dedicated parents sought consultation from an animal behaviorist, who determined that Sally was not aggressive, but simply had appointed herself as official “guard dog” for her Mom and Dad. They worked with a dog trainer, and over time, her behavior improved.

Basic and intermediate obedience classes, which Sally aced, were extremely helpful for teaching Mom, Dad, and Sally how to work together. Sally also started attending daycare for much-needed socialization with other dogs. Today, Sally is doing amazing! She just celebrated her 4th birthday and is one spoiled princess! She has her own personal couch along with several custom-made winter coats. She has an active life, always getting a morning walk with Dad, an evening walk with Mom, and several rounds of play and fetch every day in her large, fenced yard.

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Sally still attends daycare once a week and has a blast playing with all her friends. Sally’s favorite thing to do is to give her dad kisses! She also loves chasing her tennis ball and playing with her many toys. Sally is a major cuddle bug and is usually found on either Mom or Dad’s lap. She is very sweet and shows affection through puppy kisses, gentle finger nibbles, and invitations to pet her belly. She has a wonderful life. About 6 months after adopting Sally, her parents started volunteering at HHDR and continue to this day. We appreciate your support in helping dogs like Sally find a “new leash on life!

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A Wish Come True

Sage made her way to HHDR from Alabama in October 2016, via our rescue partner Save A Stray. Many were charmed by Sage’s spunky personality and adorable combination of Beagle and Bassett Hound features, and she was quickly adopted. Soon, however, Sage found herself back at HHDR due to being naughty – she was a bit of an escape artist who could not be contained by a crate, and she did not hesitate to help herself to food from the table and the trashcan. Sage needed an active family who would take her on frequent walks and hikes to burn off her energy and keep her out of trouble.

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After a couple months at HHDR, Sage wrote a letter to Santa expressing her deepest wish for a forever family. Sage was adopted in January 2017, joining her new Mom, Dad, and Bassett Hound sister Gracie! We are happy to share a pupdate about this cute low-rider. Sage took to her new family right away. She loves her sister Gracie, who seemed to help her settle down and behave. They especially enjoy playing in the snow in their large backyard. They attend doggie daycare regularly, where they hang out with many other Bassett Hound friends. They also enjoy hikes in the Adirondacks with Mom and Dad. Sage’s family returned to HHDR in December 2017 to adopt their third pup, Janie. While not a Bassett Hound, Janie fit right in with her new sisters as you can see.

We appreciate your support in helping dogs like Sage find a “new leash on life!

From Homeless to Homeland Security

Jeremiah and Norton made their way to HHDR in late January 2018. Back in Alabama, their future in the overcrowded shelter system seemed bleak. Fortunately, they were rescued by our partners Save A Stray and given a one-way ticket to Central New York for second chance!

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In February, Jeremiah and Norton’s potential to make a difference in the world was recognized – they were wanted by the Office of Fire Prevention and Control. HHDR was honored to donate these two dogs to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Now we are so proud to share a special pupdate about these amazing boys!

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Both dogs were paired up with a handler for 8 weeks of rigorous training (over 300 hours!) at the New York State Academy of Fire Science. The dog-handler teams learned search techniques and how to detect ignitable liquids commonly used in arson. The handlers learned about canine health and behavior, while the dogs were exposed to boats, helicopters, and other unique environmental settings they will face in their new jobs.

Both dogs and their handlers graduated from the academy on May 4, receiving their Canine Accelerant Detection Certification. They are truly VIPs – Very Important Pups – as they were congratulated by the Governor of New York! They have very serious jobs to do, including helping law enforcement and fire investigators solve arson cases. Read more about the dogs’ extensive training and important work here.

The Journey of Rescue Dogs Are Tales We Love to Tell

Welcome!  We are very excited to share this new blog with you.  This blog is dedicated to the story of rescue dogs . . . . specifically, the Journey of Rescue Dogs.  There are so many aspects to a rescue dog’s life and this is our spotlight for all of it.

The journey of a rescue dog can take many turns before they each find their own forever home.  Their journeys can start many places . . . . maybe it starts with a concerned neighbor, an overwhelmed owner, the police department, a veterinarian or a shelter worker or volunteer.  But regardless of how their rescue story begins, once they’re rescued, they embark on a journey toward a better life.

We believe in the potential of rescue dogs and look forward their happy endings and how they’ve enriched the lives of those around them.  Our job is to match each dog who enters our doors with the perfect human situation that is the right fit for each and every one.  When this happens, wonderful things unfold.  This is our space to share those stories with you. Thank you.